A political settlement is essential to solving the Syria issue, and its people should be the ones to decide the country's future, Xie Xiaoyan, the Chinese government's special envoy, said at a discussion in Shanghai on Monday.
Participants agreed that measures such as revising the Constitution, as well as other reforms, are the correct way to settle the seven-year conflict, Xie said at the conclusion of the International Symposium on the Prospect of a Political Settlement of the Syrian Issue, co-hosted by Shanghai Institutes for International Studies and Shanghai International Studies University.
Diplomats and researchers from across the world attended the discussion.
Xie emphasized that the Syrian issue is far more than a domestic problem, but has affected the security and stability of the region and the entire world, and all relevant parties should seek common ground while resolving differences to promote the establishment of an effective political settlement.
Franck Gellet, French ambassador for Syria, said one of the most urgent things is to end the military conflicts within the country and try to restore negotiations and talks among the different parties.
"The reform should be based on a stable domestic environment and economic situation, which requires a cease-fire," he said.
Bassam Abu Abdullah, an adviser to Syria's Minister of Information, said it is necessary to maintain a channel for open dialogue channel, such as the Astana talks.
Organized by Russia, Iran and Turkey, the discussions serve as a communication platform for all sides in Syria and are a crucial part of the peace process.
At the same time, Abdullah said that any kind of political settlement should come from the Syrian people and represent their voices and interests.
"No one knows Syria better than its people," he said.
Ye Qing, assistant president of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be upheld, and the Syrian people's choices must be respected during the process of political settlement.
"Although there are different views and perspectives, the participants believe that the Syrian issue must ultimately be resolved by the Syrians and cannot be replaced by foreign forces."
Abdullah also praised China's efforts to promote negotiations and for providing humanitarian aid to the Syrian people.
He said what China has done follows UN resolutions and international law, something all countries are supposed to do.
Xie emphasized that China has no private interest in solving the Syrian issue but was showing its willingness to preserve peace and order in the world.
He said China will continue to help Syrian refugees and support reconstruction, such as cultivating talent and rebuilding infrastructure.